My Grand Finale - KickRunners.com
 
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#1 of 24 Old 10-25-2008, 01:44 PM - Thead Starter
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A little taste of racing adrenaline to get you excited for a blazin' 38min 10k RA, and our other racers.

Lake Wissota
So yesterday was my final race of the XC season. I knew I wouldn't be running mid-27s to make the Conference team, and even if I did, I didn't think it would be fair to others based on how inconsistent I have been with my races as of late. This left absolutely no pressure on me, and I think this is the mindset I need to get into when I race. I felt the exact same way before my sectional 3200m race this spring when I seemed to be outclassed by the field in front of me, but just decided to f*** it and go with however I felt, even if it was something I hadn't done before.

Well the day was actually really good for racing, even if it was sort of gloomy and chilly...probably low 50s/upper 40s and heavy cloud cover. Luckily it didn't rain, but the course had some moisture on it in the grassy areas. This was definitely my kind of course too...no golf-course pancake-flat thing here...although it was pretty flat, this wound around through fields and woods. I always had my best races on courses like this in high school so I was excited. I was very calm with no expectation of anything in particular on me today by anyone, but I knew it would be beneficial to end the season well, so I prepared to go the depths to finish strong. The race started off and I had to watch myself in traffic on the narrow trail with the 50 or so other runners, all the while watching out for roots or rocks. I made it through alive and soon the field began to spread out. 5:37 at the mile and I felt quite comfortable. I was still around a lot of my teammates, so I worked on reeling them in and pulling them with me. I'm not quite sure where I was around 2 miles, but I didn't slow down much since I was at 17:40 at 5k, and I'm pretty sure that's a PR in the 5k from high school to now. My average pace was at ~5:41 so I was maintaining well, but I was starting to feel it. I continuously shook out my arms to keep them loose to prevent another situation like Oshkosh where they tightened up, and when I felt like I was working hard, I would slightly ease up. Maybe by only a few seconds pace-wise, but it felt much easier on the mind. I would work my way up to the runner in front of me, and then chill for a while with them before recollecting my drive and pushining onward again. The last part of the race was hard to do that since one of my teammates roared by me and I couldn't increase my pace so drastically, but I saw another teammate of mine about 30m ahead of me and I worked on reeling him in. From there I tried to put a little forward lean and increased arm drive to increase my speed and it worked to a degree. We came down the downhill twisty trail that left about 800m to go, and I worked every hill with what I had left and when we emptied out into the field for the finish I tried to stay with nice and relaxed form and stride my way to the finish. I ended up about 3 or 4 seconds behind the UWRF guy in front of me, and I believe I finished somewhere around 28:35. For once I believe I raced how I should have....I also was finally not last on the team. I know I shouldn't compare myself to the other runners, but when it's on a team things are so much more competitive and it's a bit discouraging to be in last for more than just a meet or so.

I thought about my progress over this summer and believe that I have a lot more to go improvement wise. I ran a 28:53 5 mile road race this spring, so I had a bit higher hopes for my PR in XC, but it's commonly said you slow about 6-12 seconds a mile when not on the road or track, so I can definitely see that as being more than a 20-something second improvement over the course of 7 months. Also, I've finally been consistent at decent mileage...this summer I was up around 50mpw for a few weeks, which was unheard of before, and I've probably been around 40 or so all season. This winter I'm planning on 60 or so a week and lots more lifting and supplemental exercises to keep my plaguing injuries and imbalances from affecting me in negative ways. Also I'm hoping I'll be able to utilize a bit tougher, less conservative mindset in thse track races, and all upcoming races. I believe that is one of the things that hurt me the most up to this point, always worrying about how bad I feel and if I'll have enough left. I'm not saying I won't listen to my body, but I definitely plan on going with the flow more and realizing I should end up with nothing left after a good race.

Sorry for wasting half your weekend, but I am so excited and proud of myself right now. I'm glad I didn't get discouraged after a season of bad racing. Another note...when people say don't worry about it, it'll all click on someday day, they are right. I thought I would go through this season without a good race to my name, but then I realized what Mike said. I've worked to hard to past few weeks, motnhs, and years not to have a good race. Yesterday everything in no way came all together, but it was a drast improvement over past experiences and it left as a good starting point for the rest of my career.



Now time to be a bum for a week.
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#2 of 24 Old 10-25-2008, 02:56 PM
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Congrats on nailing this one, Alex. I can't help but think that your relaxed state was a big factor. Also congrats on finishing your first college season. It must be so hard to train/race with teammates that are a notch above. No doubt you'll better handle the pressure in next season.

Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I've enjoyed your reports from campus.
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#3 of 24 Old 10-25-2008, 02:59 PM
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ALEX: Great Race...it is nice to see the fruits of your labor pay off for you!!!! Now enjoy being a Bum for a Week! You have earned it....
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#4 of 24 Old 10-25-2008, 03:29 PM
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Alex: congratulation on a awesome finale! This performance should give you a nice condifence boost as you build you miles over the winter.

I know it's an old cliche, but you can cut the atmosphere with a cricket stump
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#5 of 24 Old 10-25-2008, 03:56 PM
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Way to go Alex!!!
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#6 of 24 Old 10-25-2008, 03:58 PM
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Alex - congratulation on a great race. You deserve to finsih the season like that. Enjoy your break.

You can see the details of all my workouts on my Blog.  Happy Training Everyone!  Stay safe out there!

 

David

 

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#7 of 24 Old 10-25-2008, 04:18 PM
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Nicely done! It's been fun watching you progress these past few years. And the teacher in me must add that your writing has improved as well!
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#8 of 24 Old 10-25-2008, 04:56 PM
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I read very closely - I was on the edge of my chair - I knew you had this one in you - You just had to relax enough to find it - Great job and new PR - enjoy the break and then its gonna be so much fun trying the steeple.

You know I am laser focused on making low 27 time by nuext july 3rd - so you better be high 26's!
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#9 of 24 Old 10-25-2008, 04:58 PM
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#10 of 24 Old 10-25-2008, 05:51 PM
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Alex,

You've come a long way bud! Great job!

Now rest up and start your off-season plan
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#11 of 24 Old 10-25-2008, 06:34 PM
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Outstanding job, Alex. Enjoy the off-season.
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#12 of 24 Old 10-25-2008, 07:00 PM
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way to go
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#13 of 24 Old 10-26-2008, 01:10 AM
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Great job Alex...way to end the season with a bang!!!

Whatever you can do,
Or think you can, begin it.
Boldness has power, and genius,
And magic in it.
- Goethe
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#14 of 24 Old 10-26-2008, 02:59 AM
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I think the most important thing, here, that led to your having such a great race is that you took the pressure off yourself and relaxed. You know, Flounder just said it the other day--mindset is important. You proved it here.

Congratulations!!! And have a great weekend.
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#15 of 24 Old 10-26-2008, 03:15 AM
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alex, congrats on a great season and finishing with a PR enjoy your off season.
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#16 of 24 Old 10-26-2008, 05:00 AM
 
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Alex .... Great Race .... you deserve the rest/break !!!!!


Tazz
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#17 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 06:31 PM
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alex,
Way to finish out this season on a strong note!
(Do I know where you're going to school????)
And are you running track in the spring?
~karen

On Wisconsin!
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#18 of 24 Old 10-27-2008, 09:01 PM
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Alex, great job and a fine finish to your "rookie" season in college XC. Don't let all the BOP finishes get you down. You're paying your dues, getting stronger and faster, and adjusting to the college scene. Keep working hard through the indoor season and then outdoor in the spring.

Then log a 1,000 mile summer and you will break out as a sophomore.
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#19 of 24 Old 10-28-2008, 10:37 AM
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Congratulations Alex -- great way to end the season!
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#20 of 24 Old 10-28-2008, 11:19 AM - Thead Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wherestheportojohn View Post
alex,
Way to finish out this season on a strong note!
(Do I know where you're going to school????)
And are you running track in the spring?
~karen
haha UW-River Falls, I will be doing indoor and outdoor track. I'm not sure how close I'll ever be to you, but if your watching your runner ever at LaX I'll probably get to see ya again.
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#21 of 24 Old 10-28-2008, 12:11 PM
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Nice way to finish the season, Alex.

Well put, Torque! . ~ Dcoroner77
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#22 of 24 Old 10-29-2008, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex View Post
haha UW-River Falls, I will be doing indoor and outdoor track. I'm not sure how close I'll ever be to you, but if your watching your runner ever at LaX I'll probably get to see ya again.
Dude!!!

I will absolutely look for you if my sprinter-man stays healthy and has some meets against you guys!!!

On Wisconsin!
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#23 of 24 Old 10-29-2008, 10:44 PM
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Alex - awesome race and report. A great way to end your season. A very wise, older runner told me once "if you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong" ... it sounds like you had a lot of fun with this one!
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#24 of 24 Old 10-30-2008, 11:37 AM
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Alex - well done! That's got to feel great to finish up like that! enjoy the break...

I'm a Denier...
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